Lora Hogan > Yoga  > Why savasana gives me anxiety

Why savasana gives me anxiety

I have a confession to make.

I’m a yoga teacher, but sometimes savasana (final relaxation) gives me anxiety.


I know, I know. You wonder HOW can RELAXATION make you anxious?

Let me explain. It’s not all relaxation. It’s specifically savasana that has no end time limit.

For example many hot yoga classes (and others) you are guided into final relaxation and then told to “stay as long as you’d like” and then the teacher leaves the room.

These are the kind of savasanas that give me the freak-out.

Instantly, people begin to move about–to get ready. I can’t relax. Thoughts start pouring into my head. Am I supposed to leave? How long should I be here? How long have I been here? Are other people moving? Is everyone getting up? Oh man, I’m hungry now. Oh goodness I need to relax.

On and on.

My thoughts just go rampant.

It’s horrible.

I can’t relax at all.

And I finally get up, roll up my mat, and leave because I figure everyone else is already doing so. Or sometimes it’s just because I’m worried that I’ll be late to wherever it is I need to get to after yoga.

But the entire self-guided relaxation in a studio environment?

I hate it.

I can’t stand it.


But when the teacher stays in the room?

I’m totally fine.

I feel….safe.


I like to know that there will be someone there to tell me it’s okay to relax completely and that they will also tell me when it’s time to go back into the real world.

I need that security.

Because when I know that there’s a specific time to my savanna. When I know that everyone else around me is also relaxing. When I know that someone will tell me when it’s time to come back to the world.

I feel comfortable. I feel safe. I feel relaxed.

I feel heavenly.

I need that guidance. Because we only truly relax when we feel 100% safe and comfortable. Then we can be vulnerable.

And, yes, perhaps it means I need to try the other kind of savanna more and learn to find little more ease in it.

But it’s also not a bad thing to know what you need to relax. I like to know that until xyz time, I am in a safe place. I can relax. If I accidentally fall asleep, someone will wake me up. The idea that everyone else around me is also relaxing.

But most importantly, I like that there is NO SENSE OF RUSH.

I get distracted by the emotions and movements of others. So in self-guided class meditations and savasana, as soon as everyone around me is fidgeting and getting up–I start to fidget, I start to need to get up, I can’t relax. Their energy and movement shifts me into alertness.

Morevoer, when I truly relax–I have no sense of time. If I were to drift into a deep relaxation on my own in a studio class–I could be there forever if I truly relaxed. Which is not ideal when there are other classes to follow, places that I have to be (usually right after class), etc.

I need to feel secure in safe to relax.

I need to know that the teacher is in the room, helping me to safely relax.

Maybe it’s weird. Maybe it means I have problems letting go.

Or maybe it just means that I know how I can best let go, how I can best relax, and I, therefore, am brave enough to seek out those situations and find them for myself.

But I know I’m not alone.

How many of you have felt anxious in savasana before? Were you embarrassed to tell someone? Maybe you’re the opposite of me? What is it? What helps you to relax the most?

Let me know in the comments below.




  • Nina Reed

    February 22, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    I feel the same way! I actually stopped going to one yoga studio because every time we moved into Savasana, the teacher would leave without saying anything. I ended up being late for appointments more than once because class times ran over and by the time everyone moved out of Savasana it was 10-15 minutes over. My new studio is much more respectful about my time, and I love ending class together seated and united instead of leaving one by one.

  • Kristen

    February 22, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    I agree! And I am terrified of falling asleep in yoga class during relaxation poses. Guided savasana is the way to go!

  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine

    February 23, 2015 at 12:03 am

    I feel anxious in savasana just being in my own room. I always feel like I need to get up and be done. Sometimes instead I’ll just go to that relaxation place while holding some posture that felt super “right” in that practice instead, which usually helps.

  • steph

    February 23, 2015 at 8:44 am

    I can empathize. I have come along way and have come to embrace the stillness. I have also found that yin yoga, which used to make me uncomfortable, is also a great way to focus on remaining present.